A bunion is a bony bump on the outside of your big toe and at the joint at the base of that toe. The bunion is often caused by sustained pressure on the toe that pushes it towards the other toes and you will usually experience pain in its area. Treatment of a bunion is usually by means of a corrector or splint that will hopefully push the bone back into its proper position over time. You can also opt for surgical removal if it does not respond to conservative treatments.
Bunions can be caused by persistent stresses of pressures on your foot due to prolonged use of ill fitting footwear (e.g. pointed shoes or high heels). They can also be the result of a deformity that you were born with.
In some cases, if you have a family history or bunions or suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you are at a higher risk of developing them.
The most widespread symptom is the aforementioned bony bump on the outer big toe, near the joint at the base of the toe. Another bunion symptom can be continual pain in the big toe or more generally at the front of the foot.
You may also experience a reduction the your ability to move your big toe. In addition, you may develop corns or calluses between the big toe and the toe next to it. This is a result of the increase in pressure between the toes.
Due to the misshapen condition of your foot, you may experience difficulty finding shoes that fit comfortably.
A conservative approach to treatment of a bunion would include the use of a splint or corrector such as one of those shown below. The idea is to push the toe bones back into their proper positions over time.
If this conservative treatment approach does not work, your doctor may recommend surgical removal of the bunion.